Ready for a change but scared of commitment? Then decals may just be what you’re looking for. Designer Benieke Lennox of Mikado shares her tips on how to use the fun and quirky alternatives to traditional wall art. ‘You pretty much can’t go wrong with a decal,’ Benieke told HL. ‘They’re affordable, they’re great if you can’t make up your mind as to what you want on your wall, they’re removable, and they can be custom-made. What’s more, they can be used pretty much anywhere to liven up the tiniest corners to the hugest walls, or even on laptops, ceramics and other household objects.’ Most decals are made from vinyl, and can be used on walls, wood, glass, mirrors, metal, or any smooth, dry surface. ‘If the surface is sandy, grainy, or very uneven, I wouldn’t recommend it for a decal, as the vinyl’s adhesive will have no tack,’ advises Benieke. When it comes to applying decals, Benieke says that it requires a little effort, but that it will be totally worth it. Here are her tips:
- Most decals consist of three layers: on the bottom there’s a white backing sheet, then comes the actual vinyl decal, and on top of that there’s a clear application tape. Position your vinyl wall decal on your surface using small strips of masking tape along the top edge of the decal. Do not remove the white backing paper until you are 100% sure of your layout.
- Flip the decal up and, starting from the left top corner, slowly peel the white backing paper away from the transfer tape. The vinyl decal should stick to the clear tape. If some of the decal remains stuck to the backing paper, stop, roll the backing paper back a bit and rub the decal in that area (this will ensure that it sticks to the clear tape properly).
- As you peel away the white backing paper, lower your vinyl decal against the surface and slowly rub it, starting at the centre and working your way out, to smooth out all the air bubbles. Once all the backing paper has been removed and the vinyl decal is fully applied to the wall, you can use a credit card to finish the application by running it across the entire graphic to remove any small bubbles.
- Once you are happy with the application, carefully pull off the application tape, making sure that the vinyl decal doesn’t pull away with it. If it does, just roll the tape back over the vinyl, rub it so that it adheres to the wall nicely, and continue removing the tape. If you missed some bubbles you can always run the credit card over the actual decal carefully (I suggest wrapping it in a cloth to prevent scuffing) to smooth them out.
- Remember – the more precisely you apply your decal, the better it’ll look, so take your time. It’s worth it!